Fowler: Sammie Coates To Miss Start Of Camp Due To Knee Scope

The end of Sammie Coates’ 2016 season was marred by injury.

In 2017, it’ll begin with one too.

Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Coates will miss the start of camp due to a knee scope done last week. He apparently suffered the injury while training during the summer and the reason why it was done last-second.

Fowler notes Coates could start training camp on Active/PUP and is expected to return somewhere around mid-August. It’s a fierce battle for roster spots at receiver, the Steelers’ deepest position, so missing time is obviously a big hurdle to overcome.

Coates dealt with hernia and hand injuries last season. He underwent surgery for the former shortly after the offseason, choosing to let his broken hand heal on its own.

Justin Hunter figures to get most of his reps while Coates is sidelined.

Mike Tomlin will announce those who will begin the year on PUP Thursday.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Guillermo Garcia-Gomez

    Am I the only one excited to see what Hunter or Ayers can do as a result of this?

  • Hagen Rinde

    No. Me too…

  • Dan

    It’s a good opportunity for the other WRs to show what they can do. Add a break to the list of things that Coates can’t catch.

  • Charles Mullins

    Nope. Coates is a proven gamebreaker when healthy. Having him hurt does not make me happy.

  • Matt Manzo

    Not what Coates needed!

  • Steeler Nation!

    No it’s not going to help his cause. But, in about a 6 game stretch from the playoff game in Denver thru the early games last year, he made alot of big plays. Yes, he drops some (more with broken fingers than before). So does Martavis. And we’re not about to run his butt out of town unless he fails another test. He should be rolling again by mid August. A scope isn’t that big a deal. And he’s a helluva lot better player than DHB.

  • SilverSteel

    That really did not help his cause. Say hello to our new WR Hunter.

  • SilverSteel

    I think Ayers has a shiftiness that we could use like a very very poor mans AB. We can’t have all stretch the field guys. NE taught me that. Nothing wrong with taking what the D gives.

  • Guillermo Garcia-Gomez

    Key words, “when healthy”. And hunter’s stats stack up favorably to his and that’s been with a bunch of mediocre quarterbacks instead of a HOFer. Not saying I’m happy Coates is probably gone, but this could be a good opportunity to see what we have.

  • Jaybird

    Proven game breaker? 22 receptions for around 450 yrds and 2TDs in two years.

  • Steel Your Face

    Here we go again…*sigh.*

  • pittsburghjoe

    Thats gonna hurt given how deep and competitive the battle will be during camp. This puts him from the fringe to maybe outside looking in.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Ok, here is a thought…. What if they place him on the regular season IR/Return list? He services as an insurance policy if anyone gets hurt in the first 6 weeks or so. I forget how long they have to sit for though… I could be wrong on the length of time. You basically stash one of your fringe guys and have insurance. Im just trying to get creative in the event they cant pull off a trade.

  • Michael Conrad

    I feel sorry for Sammie and hopes he will be ok . What this does is give three WR’s I want to see what they can do get more reps in camp. I want to see JJSS , Hunter and I like Ayers.

  • RickM

    While it’s an injury that could happen to anyone, it’s clearly bad news for him given the problems of 2016. I hope he gets a chance to legitimately compete, but with knee injuries you never know. I remember Harrison a couple of years ago kept trying to return to camp, but his knee kept swelling until he got it cleaned out. Hope it isn’t the same for Sammi.

  • Steeler Nation!

    Normally when they go in there to scope if it’s worse than expected they just do it up all the way. If they just scoped it he should ready to roll in less than a month. Minimal swelling and recovery time.

  • Steeler Nation!

    It’s a small sample size for sure. But in truth almost all of that came in 6 games.

  • Steve Johnson

    Absolutely, I for one think it’s time to move on from Coates. Why wait? Ok, he a had a few good games at the beginning of the 2016 season. He’s still a One-Trick-Pony, didn’t look great (according to reports) during the spring, and now this.

  • Steve Johnson

    One-Trick-Pony

  • Steve Johnson

    BINGO! Email it to #7

  • pittsburghjoe

    Im surprised the jackwagon pothead WR has not made a remark about this yet.

  • Steve Johnson

    Martavis Bryant drops compared to Coates? Really? Coates is no where in the same league with Bryant. However, I do feel bad the kid, he deserves an opportunity to redeem himself and compete.

  • Matthew Marczi

    He could just stay on the PUP list if his injury is that serious.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Bryant drops as many passes as Coates does actually. To be specific, I have Bryant marked down for 13 drops during the 11 games in which he played in the 2015 season. Coates dropped five passes during the 2016 regular season. Bryant’s drops came on 92 targets, which translates to a drop rate of 14.13 percent. Coates’ drops came on 49 targets, which translates to a drop rate of 10.2 percent.

  • Steeler Nation!

    Did I say Coates was as good as Bryant? No. I said they both have the dropsies sometimes. Bryant had a TD hit his hands in his last game in Denver. Could’ve made a big difference in that game when we were kicking FGs.

    Now I did say Coates is better than DHB.

  • Danielsteelstrong81

    Ayers needs to work on YAC big time

  • RickM

    You’re right. I assume Harrison wasn’t scoped initially and that’s why his knee kept swelling with exertion. With Sammi having the procedure already, hopefully they’ve repaired all the damage and he can be full speed in 3-4 weeks. It sounds like a meniscus problem with that quick a return, but that’s a guess.

  • PA2AK_

    Hmmm pretty surprising statement. I’m not well versed in those statistics though. I will say that they also use MB (or started to anyways) on a wider variety of routes which is really a different topic. Still can’t wrap my head around them being equal in terms of drops…

  • PA2AK_

    ^ baffles me more than Coates playing with his mangled hands last year…

  • will

    No me too

  • RickM

    You’re totally right. While AB and Wheaton had both about 2.5% in drops in 2014, Bryant was 6.1. It got even worse in 2015 as Bryant’s drop rate climbed to 9.8%, while AB was 1.0 and Wheaton was just above 2. Sammi’s rate can’t be fairly calculated because of his hand injury. Regardless, Martavis has definitely not been sure-handed.

  • will

    Which JPWR are you referring to?

  • Gautama Om

    Don’t worry about the FO. They EASILY know this and any other options.

    The problem with them is they rarely trade players away to other teams which I despise because it pretty much closes out those options to improve the team.

  • Jeff McNeill

    Great job, I love to have numbers with assertions rather than just what folks think.

  • SilverSteel

    Isn’t scoping Coates knee, cleaning it out? So he should be ok…right?

  • AndyR34

    That doesn’t fit Johnson’s narrative, so it can’t be true…no matter what Marczi says.

  • Steeler Nation!

    Yes. As minor a procedure as you can have. He should be ok except that he will be not doing anything for a couple weeks. But if he was in great shape before, it shouldn’t be a big deal. Maybe he can snag some balls off the jugs machine like Martavis was doing.

  • Dan

    I hope you are right, but I’m not sold. He and DHB are similar as WRs with Coates probably being better. DHB brings it on special teams though, and is great in the locker room. Did they have Coates in on special teams at all? With his speed and size he may be good at it.

  • 2winz

    how is he a proven gamebreaker? he had Brown on the other side, and Ben throwing him the ball. could he have a big game without brown there? could he do it without Ben? i dont know, he had a few good games early and then disappeared. so imo, he is not a proven gamebreaker.

  • Steeler Nation!

    Yeah he played a lot on ST last season. I’m not sure of the stat breakdown. Maybe someone can get that for us.

  • RickM

    Yes, that’s what I indicated to SN below. I should have realized that scoped is ‘look and repair’ as you say.

  • RickM

    You’re a hard marker lol. Sporting Charts and Fox have Bryant with 9 drops in the 92 targets. But drops are completely in the eye of the beholder.

  • Ike Evans

    Sammie might get cut

  • WreckIess

    Every year someone knocks themselves out of contention to compete because of an injury. Coates better hope he’s not this year’s victim.

  • LucasY59

    IR makes it so they dont have to cut a talented WR, but we will see how long this keeps him out, if he can get back quickly he can compete, but even then the time missed might be enough to make it so he is the guy that gets cut, there are always injuries that surface this time of year, if Sammie is the only one then the team is actually doing really well since they have the depth at WR

  • jsteeler

    Ben has to throw him open for YAC. Ben throws INT’s instead.

  • Ed Smith

    I believe your stats, just hard to catch a football when you’re stoned and not preparing. If the new Martavis is for real (and do I ever hope so for his sake and the team’s) then I’m excited to see what he does this year!

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Bye coates.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    If they ir him he will still take a spot from someone at initial 53 cut down because he has to be in 53 before
    Ir. Unless they pup him

  • Michael Mosgrove

    They both had a fairly large drop rate.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    No. Coates is the new wheat thins.

  • Michael James

    Ehm, sorry, but he isn’t. His best game (by far) was against the Jets. In this game basically every second ball was thrown to him and while catching some deep bombs, he also dropped countless very easy passes (even TDs).

  • steelburg

    Bryant struggles with contested catches he doesn’t drop wide open passes like Coates does. In fairness to Coates he did have a hand injury. But that was also his MO at Auburn.

  • VaDave

    One thing to consider with stretch guys, in general, the further away from the QB you are, the less likely you are to catch it. With either Coates, or Bryant, when they start being fed a lot of slants, bubble screens, and short crossing routes and their drop rate is in the 10% range, then you got a problem. And you guys with the stats blowing up our eyeball testing, have a great day….!####!!!@@#!!

  • Conserv_58

    “You can’t make the club from the tub.”

    Sammy is already on a short leash. Starting training camp on the active/PUP list, with a WR room full of hungry players chompin’ at the bit to make the team is going to make that leash even shorter.

  • VaDave

    I like Sammie warts and all. Seem like a great kid. IMO, minus the locker room/mentor thing that gets bandied about DHB, he’s a younger and much cheaper version. One thing for sure, come September, somebody, or some bodys are going to be working elsewhere.

  • VaDave

    He can stay on the PUP list on into the season until or if needed. Actually, this is a good opportunity to get a good read on the rest of the bunch, and scout potential trading partners for the excess WRs we have, not that we do a lot of that.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Huge for the WR group.

  • Steeler Nation!

    Agreed. I don’t see how DHB could stay on the roster over any of the WR group. Coates should be back in time to compete for a spot. No need to make any rash decisions now over a scope job.

  • Steve Johnson

    Like the way you broke that down, but I agree with PA2AK_. I still don’t think Coates is in the same league with Bryant. Obviously, the Coaches don’t think so neither. The guy was gone for a year, after being reinstated, started practicing with the 1st Team back in the spring.

  • Steve Johnson

    Ok, knowing what we all know now about both of these guys, who would you choose if you had to do it all over again? My Choice? Simple, I will take my chances with Bryant.

  • lyke skywalker

    DHB – future assistant wide receivers coach.

  • lyke skywalker

    ‘You cannot make the club from the tub’ – awesome.

  • Charles Mullins

    He disappeared because of injury. The fact that he still toughed it out should endear him to the fan base and his coaches. I don’t understand you guys sometimes. It is almost like you never played…

  • Charles Mullins

    The issue with a scope is that it means there is a problem they are trying to fix. It could or could not work. They are either going to remove cartilage (bad in the long run) or try to repair it which takes time. Either way it means his knee has been bothering him which isn’t good.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    The fork is out of the drawer.

  • Steeler Nation!

    I don’t think anyone ever said they’d take Coates over Bryant, and have no idea how you got off on that. But, he did some good things for us when AB missed the playoff game and when Bryant was suspended. UNTIL he broke his fingers. That’s what we want from him, to be a situational player and good backup. And I still say he is a helluva lot better than DHB.

  • Rodrigo Alvarez-Morphy

    My question is, why now?? Awful timing, no?

  • RickM

    Oh you take Bryant for sure. He has the better track record despite all the dropped balls, which plagued him in college as well with over a 12% drop rate. You take him and hope the something has indeed clicked in and he doesn’t resort to old habits at the first sign of adversity.

  • SilverSteel

    Thnx. More serious than I thought.

  • Lee Foo Young

    That saying has been around since the 60s.

  • 2winz

    i understand he had an injury.. but is that my fault? no, fact is that he disappeared. as a result who is to say if he was a gamebreaker? even in the games he was playing well in before injury.. he had only one route! that is not a gamebreaker. like i said would he have the same #s without AB taking double coverage? or with landry jones throwing it to him? im not hating on him, he did tough it out, thats all nice and good, but i’m asking you how you are so sure he is a game breaker?

  • Charles Mullins

    Go watch his highlight film. He is a game breaker. Game is tight. 50 yard kill shot down the sideline… Its the definition of a game breaker. I didn’t say he was the steelers MVP but he can definitely provide the splash play that changes the momentum of the game aka game breaker.

  • pittsburghjoe

    And its still groovy

  • SteelersGeek4Lyfe

    This dude can’t stay healthy, it’s sad. Good thing we picked up juju

  • rystorm06

    Stats like that can be misleading, I’m looking at the touchdowns. MB has produced way more than Coates when given the opportunity.

  • lyke skywalker

    …longer than I have been around.

  • 2winz

    do you think he can he do that without AB on the other side? you havent answered that. I for one dont, because like i said, he had only one route. he is a poor mans mike wallace and sure wallace had a lot of splash plays, but i dont recall him ever taking over a game.

  • Terrible Towlie

    me 3

  • Terrible Towlie

    i think most havent

  • Terrible Towlie

    him toughing it out actually hurt the offense, he couldnt catch a cold after the injury

  • Terrible Towlie

    he reminds me of AB too….short but not small, pretty stout…with good hands and punt returner vision and moves with the ball in open field

  • Terrible Towlie

    yeah, he must suck or something

  • Terrible Towlie

    i dont see the helluva better than DHB…..DHB has much better hands now(or HoF QB) and is a huge contributor on ST…. a WR with a busted hand is like a 3 legged race horse

  • Terrible Towlie

    DHB can still fly

  • 2winz

    I agree, I think you meant to reply to Charles Mullins lol

  • MC

    I’m not stressed based on the fact we have Hunter on the roster and a big WR room anyway.

  • SilverSteel

    Yes, the homeless man’s AB. The only reason he goes to PS is there is no room. We may rather try to stash Ayers than just let Hunter go altogether to keep both, but I think Ayers earned a spot last year. The game was not too big for the little guy.

  • Steeler Nation!

    In 3 years with the Steelers DHB has 30 receptions for 465 yards. Coates basically equaled that in 5 games.

  • Steeler Nation!

    So can Dri Archer, but neither of them is a good football player

  • Charles Mullins

    Sure. Give him Julio Jones and he will be fine.

  • LucasY59

    he just had surgery so he is starting on the PUP

  • VaDave

    No doubt, but will 2 tenths of a second on a 40 yard sprint make that big of a difference on coverage units, especially when punters and kickers are coached to not out kick the coverage?

  • VaDave

    He looked ok to me in the Denver Playoff game with no AB.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Nobody is talking about touchdown. The topic was drops.

  • Matthew Marczi

    They’re in the same league when it comes to drops, and that’s the only stat I was referencing. I’m not comparing their abilities beyond their reliability catching passes.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I actually consider myself a conservative marker. I’ve seen drops listed for other people that are way more than I have. Unfortunately Game Pass doesn’t feel like working for me so I can’t review the drops I have marked down, but I would like to do that at some point.

  • 2winz

    he did ok but i wouldnt say he was a gamebreaker. he also had Bryant on the other side who had a better game

  • 2winz

    good 1 lol see now julio is a game breaker

  • RickM

    I think making those kind of decisions is extremely difficult. Some drops are clear-cut. But some are really subjective and three people could look at the same play and have different opinions (drop, no drop, not sure). So I commend you for setting guidelines and charting them.

  • Charles Mullins

    Finally. We agree 🙂

  • 2winz

    finally indeed :b